GWR Mogul 7325
|GWRGreat Western Railway MogulLocomotive with a 2-6-0 wheel configuration 7325|
7325 at Kidderminster, June 2019
|Built By||GWRGreat Western Railway Swindon Works|
|Power class||GWRGreat Western Railway: D, BRBritish Rail or British Railways: 4MTThe British Railways system of classifying steam locomotives by power using a number from 0, least powerful, to 9, most powerful, followed by either F for freight, P for Passenger or MT for Mixed Traffic.|
|Axle load class||GWRGreat Western Railway: 9300 Red, 7300 Blue|
|Status||Out of service|
|Other Numbers||9303, 98425 (TOPS)|
|Designed By||George Jackson ChurchwardGeorge Jackson Churchward, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1902-1922|
|Type||GWRGreat Western Railway 4300|
|1964||Withdrawn from service|
|1975||Arrived on SVRSevern Valley Railway|
|1992||Entered SVRSevern Valley Railway service|
|2000||Withdrawn for overhaul|
|Tractive effort||25,670 lb|
|Pressure||200 lb/sq in|
7325 (originally numbered 9303) is a GWRGreat Western Railway 4300 Class 2-6-0 (mogul) steam locomotive intended for mixed traffic duties including cross country passenger services, long goods, parcels and excursion trains.
Having introduced a range of standard locomotives designed for heavier services, GWRGreat Western Railway CMEChief Mechanical Engineer George Jackson ChurchwardGeorge Jackson Churchward, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1902-1922 asked his lead draughtsman Harold Holcroft to produce "...a 2-6-0 with 5 foot 8 inch wheels, outside cylinders, the No. 4 boiler and as many standard parts as could be used". The resulting 4300 class first appeared in 1911 and proved successful with 322 built by 1925, sometimes incorporating detailed differences. Their GWR Power and Weight Classification Blue route availability saw them used across the GWRGreat Western Railway network from London to Birkenhead and Cornwall. However, the sharp curves in Cornwall were found to be causing excessive flange wear on the front driving wheels, so in 1928 65 of the class were altered by moving the buffer beam forward and placing a heavy casting behind it to reduce the wear by increasing the weight on the front pony truck. The extra weight of the modified 8300 series, as they became, put them in the Red route availability and restricted their use to main lines, and by the end of World War 2 most had been converted back.
A final batch of 20 4300s including No 9303 were built in 1932 which, in addition to the extra buffer beam weight, incorporated further design changes by ChurchwardGeorge Jackson Churchward, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1902-1922’s successor, Charles CollettCharles Benjamin Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1922-1941. These included the introduction of side window cabs, outside steam pipes and a screw reverser (as a result of these additional modifications, 7325 is often referred to on the SVRSevern Valley Railway as the "CollettCharles Benjamin Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1922-1941 mogul"). The new examples were mainly stationed in the London Division area, but between 1956 and 1959 they also had the extra buffer beam weight removed to increase route availability, being renumbered into the 7300 series at the same time.
Moguls were allocated to local sheds including Shrewsbury and Worcester (both from 1934), Kidderminster Shed (from 1946) and Stourbridge Junction (from 1950). The type (not including those with Red axle load restrictions) operated excursions on the Kidderminster – Bewdley – Stourport triangle from the 1930s. In the late 1950s four moguls were allocated to Kidderminster Shed to work coal trains from Alveley Colliery to the power stations at Stourport and Buildwas and sugar beet trains to Foley Park. Reallocations meant that, for example, 18 class members were allocated to Kidderminster at some point in their service.
9303/7325 in service
The locomotive was completed at Swindon to Lot No. 276. It first entered service in February 1932 as GWRGreat Western Railway number 9303, and began life allocated to Penzance. The following year 9303 moved to London's Old Oak Common Shed, spending the next 20 years at sheds in the London Division area. Between 1947 and 1950 the locomotive was allocated to Reading.
In 1953, 9303 moved to Tyseley, followed by Banbury two years later. In 1958 No 9303 was renumbered by BRBritish Rail or British Railways as 7325, who also modified the locomotive at the same time by removing the additional buffer beam weight. After further allocations to Ebbw Junction (Newport) and Severn Tunnel Junction, 7325 was withdrawn from service at Pontypool Road in April 1964.
7325 in preservation
7325 arrived at Barry Scrapyard in November 1964. It was one of only two members of the 4300 class preserved and the only "CollettCharles Benjamin Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1922-1941 mogul", the other (No. 5322) being an early ChurchwardGeorge Jackson Churchward, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1902-1922 example (see below).
In mid-1972 the newly-formed Great Western Locomotive and Carriage Society made '9303'[note 1] its first target for preservation. The following year the Society merged with the Great Western Rolling Stock Fund to become the Great Western (SVR) Association. By spring 1974 volunteers were working on the locomotive at BarryWoodham Brothers Scrapyard, Barry, South Wales. The source of many locomotives now in preservation., with the purchase being finalised in May 1974 with the aid of a loan in order to avoid a price increase proposed by Dai Woodham in June of that year.
The locomotive moved from BarryWoodham Brothers Scrapyard, Barry, South Wales. The source of many locomotives now in preservation. Scrapyard to Worcester on 16 August 1975 in convoy with GWR 2857, arriving on the SVRSevern Valley Railway on 20 August. In autumn of that year a raffle organised by the SVRA Stourbridge Branch helped raise funds for the purchase of locomotive. It initially went to Bewdley before moving to Highley around summer 1977 "in store pending full restoration".
Restoration of the mogul began in earnest once those locomotives were completed in July 1975 and October 1979 respectively. In 1982 another SVRASevern Valley Railway Association raffle was held to raise funds for work on the boiler and tender which were to be done as a contract job at Bridgnorth Loco Works, and a further raffle organised by the SVRA Stourbridge Branch was held in spring 1988.
The locomotive was lifted back onto its main driving wheels at Bewdley in July 1988 with the aid of Bridgnorth's steam crane; a few weeks later it was jacked up for the completed pony truck to be added. In early 1989 it temporarily moved to Bridgnorth for the boiler to put back in the frames before returning to Bewdley. Work on the tender at Bridgnorth then involved fabrication of new drag boxes, the front third of the frames and a new floor for the tender tank. The tender then re-joined the locomotive at Bewdley where restoration continued as funds permitted.
By December 1991 the locomotive was "98% complete" and had returned to Bridgnorth for final re-assembly. The boiler had been re-tubed and hydraulically tested. On Thursday 25 June the locomotive moved under its own power for the first time, and after a quick repaint into unlined green, entered service in July 1992 as No 9303. It carried that livery until the end of that year, including appearances at the Autumn Steam Gala and Christmas services, before entering Bridgnorth paint shop to receive a full repaint into BRBritish Rail or British Railways lined green as No 7325, this livery correctly reflecting the absence of the additional buffer beam weight.
Between 1995 and 1998, 7325 made a number of appearances on the main line, including 'Steam on the Met' and double-heading the first preserved steam on the Lickey Incline. A full list is as follows:
|Date||Tour name||Route||Notes||Web||SVRSevern Valley Railway News|
|19 May 1995||Kidderminster-Newport-Gloucester-Worcester||D/H with 7802 from Gloucester. L/E from Worcester due to hot box on tender.||115-44|
|04 Nov 1995||Stourbridge - Bristol - Swansea||D/H with 70000 Britannia, 7325 failed at Swansea due to hot box on tender. Possible duplicate of 11 November|
|11 Nov 1995||Stourbridge - Bristol - Swansea||D/H with 70000 Britannia from Bristol||117-2|
|18 May 1996||Steam on the Met||London Underground 'Steam on the Met' (2 weekends)||SBJ|
|19 May 1996||Steam on the Met||London Underground 'Steam on the Met' (2 weekends)||SBJ|
|25 May 1996||Steam on the Met||London Underground 'Steam on the Met' (2 weekends)||SBJ||119-58|
|26 May 1996||Steam on the Met||London Underground 'Steam on the Met' (2 weekends)||SBJ|
|27 May 1996||Steam on the Met||London Underground 'Steam on the Met' (2 weekends)||SBJ|
|11 Jan 1997||Taffy Apple||Worcester-Hereford-Swansea-Gloucester-Worcester||D/H with 42968||122-4|
|25 Oct 1997||Meldon Meanderer||Bristol - Exeter - Meldon Quarry||D/H with 42968||125-70|
|08 Nov 1997||Pilgrims Progress||Exeter - Plymouth - Bristol||D/H with 42968||125-70|
|15 Nov 1997||Hardy Flyer||Bristol Temple Meads - Yeovil Pen Mill - Bristol||D/H with 42968||126-48|
|22 Nov 1997||Lickey Incliner||Bristol-Bromsgrove-Stourbridge-Gloucester||D/H with 42968, first preserved steam on the Lickey Incline||126-2|
|31 Jan 1998||Inclined Salopian||Gloucester - Lickey Incline - Bescot||D/H with 42968||126-49|
|21 Mar 1998||Chester Chuffer||Bescot-Chester + return||SBJ|
|For further information on sources and references, see The Severn Valley Railway on the main line|
Having entered service in 1992, it was anticipated that 7325 would be in use until 2002. However the locomotive succumbed to a severely leaking boiler in August 2000 during that year’s 'boiler crisis'. Following a quick cosmetic restoration the locomotive was placed on exhibition at the Steam Museum in Swindon,[note 3] initially for 'a couple of years'.
In late 2005 the SVRSevern Valley Railway announced that the locomotive would return in time for the planned opening of The Engine House in May 2007. After the delay due to the 2007 Storm Damage, 7325 was eventually shunted into The Engine House on 16 March 2008 ready for the public opening five days later. At The Engine House the 'footplate' was accessible to allow visitors to climb aboard and learn how to operate a steam locomotive, and for weddings and civil ceremonies.
In September 2018 the SVRSevern Valley Railway commented that 7325 would take its place in the restoration queue before 7819 Hinton Manor, after work on locomotives under overhaul had progressed. In 2019, for their 50th year, the Association launched a fund to return the mogul to the CollettCharles Benjamin Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1922-1941 GWRGreat Western Railway condition as 9303. A new chimney, smokebox, boiler refurbishment and ‘bottom end’ are required to get the locomotive into running order. A number of supporters have already formed the CollettCharles Benjamin Collett, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1922-1941 MogulLocomotive with a 2-6-0 wheel configuration Supporters Group to help with the overhaul. The Association's web site stated “A possible start [on overhaul] could be made during 2019/20”: by 2021 it read "stored in Kidderminster Carriage shed pending a move to Bridgnorth when it can be accommodated".
In March 2019 7325 was moved from The Engine House to storage in the Kidderminster Carriage Shed, being replaced in The Engine House by 7819. 7325 was available for footplate visits and photographs outside for the first time in many years when displayed in the dock platform at Kidderminster for the duration of the 'Step Back to the 1940s' event in June/July 2019. The locomotive had featured in the wartime-set 1998 made-for-TV film Goodnight Mister Tom, having been cosmetically repainted into somewhat dirty condition with no markings on the tender to disguise its more modern livery. This condition was re-created for the 2019 appearance.
From April 2023 working parties at Bewdley MPD commenced conservation and preliminary restoration work, concentrating on the tender with planned activities such as a deep clean of the underside, needle-gunning and painting the coal space, restoration of latches on tool lockers and the like. This is intended to assist when the time eventually comes for its overhaul to start. It was therefore viewable as a static exhibit in Rock Siding during the 2023 Step Back to the 1940s event.
The other surviving member of the 4300 class, No. 5322, also had a brief association with the SVRSevern Valley Railway in preservation. 5322 is an early ChurchwardGeorge Jackson Churchward, Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME) of the Great Western Railway 1902-1922 example which was built in 1917 and saw service in France during World War I with the British Army's Railway Operating Division. It was withdrawn from British Railways service in April 1964 and arrived at BarryWoodham Brothers Scrapyard, Barry, South Wales. The source of many locomotives now in preservation. in November of that year.
In January 1967 SVRSevern Valley Railway News referred to recent announcements in the railway press of a proposal by David Rouse to acquire 5322. At the time, the "scrapping clause" still existed which prevented dealers such as Dai Woodham from buying locos from BRBritish Rail or British Railways other than to be cut up for scrap. The SVRSevern Valley Railway News article noted that if this could be overcome, the new owners intended to bring the locomotive to Bridgnorth. In the event this 'national appeal' failed and 5322 was instead acquired by a member of the Great Western Society, becoming in September 1969 the first GWRGreat Western Railway locomotive (and third overall) to leave BarryWoodham Brothers Scrapyard, Barry, South Wales. The source of many locomotives now in preservation.. After restoration at Caerphilly it was transferred to the Didcot Railway Centre in 1973 where it has been preserved since.
- Steam Locomotives
- Goodnight Mister Tom
- Classes of locomotives used on the Severn Valley Branch in commercial service
- The GW(SVR)AGreat Western (SVR) Association customarily refers to the locomotive by its original number.
- The 1992 mileage was originally reported in SVRSevern Valley Railway News 110 as 5,192 miles.
- 7325 was exhibited at the Steam Museum itself, rather than at the adjacent Shopping Centre later occupied by 4930 and 7819.
- GWRGreat Western Railway(SVRSevern Valley Railway)A appeal leaflet
- BR Database, 4300 Class
- GWR Archive Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- Ferris (1995), p. 27.
- BRDatabase Retrieved 28 January 2015
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 25
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 31, 32, 87
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 42
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 39
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 44
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 52,87,157
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 63
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 89, 90
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 90
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 93
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 101, 102
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 104, 105, 106
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 152 p. 25., "SVRSevern Valley Railway Steam Locomotive Mileages 1990-2004, Graham Nangreave
- Shown as 4 November in Siviter (2008)
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 134
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 136
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 152
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 161
- Express Points September 2018
- 9303 Appeal leaflet (Retrieved 3 May 2019)
- GW(SVR)A website (Retrieved 10 March 2019, 31 January 2021)
- Severn Valley Railway 1940s event organiser updates on Facebook, 8 May 2019
- Beckett & Hardingham (2010) p. 62.
- SVRSevern Valley Railway News 4
- Beckett & Hardingham (2010) p. 71.
- Didcot Railway Centre
- Great Western (SVR) Association 9303 page
- GWR 4300 Class on Wikipedia
- The Collett Mogul Supporters Group on Facebook